Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Catering, cocktail, and a castle. Oh my!

It's very springtime in Paris right now--Tulips everywhere, and wisteria too!  

This is what people do here on very nice days--they sit out in the sun in very pretty places, like the Luxembourg Gardens.

Annegret and I got this tasty little treat for our time under the sun in the gardens


This week we had 2 catering classes.  And it was great because we got to work with meats, fish, and vegetables, which is a fun change from pastry exclusivity.  Here are some peppers I got to roast!

We also made a giant pot of cassoulet, which is a famous dish from the south of France.

But mostly, we worked on making about 15-20 different types of little appetizers (and about 60-80 servings of each).

Ratatouille with sesame rouget and guacamole
 Ok, this was so cool.  One group made a ton of little balls out of butter and froze them.  Then they were covered in batter, frozen again, and then fried.  During the frying, they are picked so that the butter oozes out and you're just left with a little crunchy ball that you can fill!  Cool, right?  Our catering chef invented this recipe--he's great and he's trying for the MOF this year.  Best of luck to him.

the little fry balls on a skewer with herbed salmon and daikon radish
 They are filled with a goat cheese/horseradish cream and topped with caviar!

 We were making all these little appetizers for a cocktail party at the school so that we could meet all of the former students of the program who are either now in their internships, or are still here working in Paris.

It was really great and I met lots of new people.  We were very proud of ourselves for making all of the treats!


Stefanie, Shu Shu, Chef Averty, me, Johnny
Friday was huge.  First, we got an entire lesson on macarons by well-renound expert, Olivier Menard.  Secondly, it was filmed for a huge French TV station.  And finally, I was one of the 3 interviewed!  What a cool experience.

I was absolutely full of adrenaline afterwards, and we all decided to go out for a little drink.  I think it's the first time our entire class (minus one) has been out all together!

Vady, Shu Shu, Ji Sook, me, Stefanie
It's our spring break now, so Saturday, I was content with doing absolutely nothing at all.  So that night I had a huge second wind and decided to go out.  Ben and I went to see Aurelie's boyfriend play at a bar.  He's in a band.  I had a corona and it reminded me of Texas.

Afterwards, the males of the group wanted to watch the rest of the soccer game that they were missing, so we went to this little Spanish bar.  And it really is tiny, and it was completely packed, but that didn't stop them from having 2 guitarists at all times (on a rotation, I guess) AND a flamenco dancer.

Sunday I went to Fontainebleau.  It is a massive chateau.  It's about 40 minutes by train (after the metro-ride to the train station) south of Paris.

On our way from the train station to the chateau, Annegret and I spied a tempting little outdoor market.

This is Annegret and me trying on hats that we will wear to the horse-races one day (since there is a horse-racing track very near my apartment).

Here is the lovely Fontainebleau.  It really is huge; I kept thinking about the movie Rose Red, where the house keeps building itself...

We stopped and had a picnic (equipped with cider, fresh cheeses, bread, and fruits from the market) on this little green area.

And then we ventured into the castle.

Napoleon's chess table

Beautiful bedroom

gorgeous fireplace

detailing above a doorway


Wisteria, seen on our walk home
Very lovely weekend.  My mother is coming to see me tomorrow--I can't wait!!


  1. Jessica, these are such great photos. Good job on the catering and celebrating. Hope you and your mom had fun.

  2. Thank you, thank you! Yes, my mother and I had an absolutely wonderful time :)